Latest on congressional GSA hearing
Execs testify on Las Vegas spending scandal
- Duration 10:52
- Date Apr 16, 2012
Execs testify on Las Vegas spending scandal
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Tonight at up public beating the outrage -- the GSA's colossal abuse of taxpayer money reaches Capitol Hill.
Congress finally opening its eyes to what's going on there was yelling and screaming about the GSA's lavish trips to Vegas Hawaii and Palm Springs.
All the expense of view of the taxpayers.
But then silenced the organizer of the 800000 dollar plus -- -- conference pleading the fifth.
-- -- did you approve the funding for the 2010 western regional conference.
chairman on the advice of my counsel I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege just a few more.
-- -- Was the original what was the original budget for that conference.
chairman on the advice of my counsel I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.
-- are you currently employed by the GSA.
As -- federal employee.
It's mister chairman on the advice of my counsel I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.
I can't bring elis don't -- didn't stop lawmakers from giving him and other GSA if it shows a tongue lashing listen to us.
-- -- -- Believe they would -- -- some sort of agency -- We use taxpayer funds.
The bank rolled their lavish lifestyle.
They disregarded -- -- most basic.
Tenets of government service.
It's not your money.
Is to taxpayers money.
And the sixth the 8000 dollar spent -- your books do you believe mr.
immediately thought that was his money.
I don't know what he was thinking do you think it's your money.
Whose money is that.
-- the taxpayers' money mr.
prosecuted -- about results dot gov you highlighted as one of the great accomplishments of the GSA what does it do.
The results thought of among other online web sites allows that.
Federal government employees as well as US citizens to all look at -- accessed data about their government.
So when I type in WWW result stock up why does -- come up blank.
I don't know sir.
Roberts and you're the chief of staff.
I'm I'm unfamiliar with the results dot gov web site.
So your site though this is the disconnect you you're the chief of staff she's the former administrator she cites it as one of just a handful of great accomplishments -- the GSA.
And you don't even know what it is the notion.
-- you have to spent.
Dollars to exchange ideas is laughable.
In the -- the galls me the most of the -- hypocrisy of GSA not even following its own damn rules.
You are so quick to make everyone else follow the rules -- you can't follow your own groups.
And -- -- I I can at its best a guy who's only been here fourteen months.
Thank god some of -- are here now because apparently you folks -- -- made a career are spending taxpayer money.
Have got some kind of a magic shield or you stay inside this bubble that allows you to do those things -- not absolutely.
Anything any feeling of wrongdoing.
So -- the house oversight and governor reform committing get any answers chairman Darrell ice and -- -- to see is there.
Well thanks from me on Greta and yes we did get answers I think this is -- that is not Islamic comment about that congressman just spoke the one kind of -- -- been your fourteen months cuts but spending taxpayer -- hard not to think it's.
The misused it shows it's stealing taxpayer.
You're actually right in my Kelly is a career car dealer Holmes -- several car dealerships understands that tough business -- went through tough times and he ran for congress anyway because he felt -- needed the change in Washington.
And today he heard the former administrator talk about bonuses as entitlements.
He heard a series of those sort of misunderstandings.
He saw that they had no answers to questions even from their own opening statements.
We don't have bonuses left and then let me and it's not a question to ask you is that last year the GSA debated whether to give nearly that's the man we Sauna suit of course so was maybe we're used to seeing him in the bath -- we'll get to that -- a second -- a bonus -- job performance is granted -- 9000 dollar bonus for -- objection -- one administrator Susan -- But -- 9000 dollar bonus.
Well clearly the administrator of the outgoing administrator.
Miss Johnson doesn't understand that you don't have an entitlement.
And that when you have clear misconduct when you have some strong suspicion of miss spending -- Biggest miss like any you know what he really isn't it is so much more than that because you know.
I mean like here's a good example they would foliage UC official who was captured on video joking about the agency's spending -- -- -- the 2010 conference.
He said he did not know the over the top expenses are being paid for the government might stop think think was paid for that -- Clearly what we know now is that -- and others in fact.
Stole money they use money that had to be used personally.
-- to some people that it was personal but in fact use in -- -- credit cards for a number of expenses.
The important thing here though is what you saw was existing people still on the full payroll either not answering questions.
-- in fact answering them as though they did nothing wrong.
This is part of the culture that every president -- That the reason we give political appointees the opportunity to work is they're supposed to bring about that kind of change control and reform.
And that's what hasn't happened in this agency for at least the last three years hi Jeffrey nearly half Italian not just a -- -- is still on the payroll he's on leave based on the payroll obvious that make -- 179000.
Dollars until a year until he is terminated which could be a very long talks take turn an.
Well you know hopefully an indictment and conviction but it seems like short of that.
At least this administrator and hopefully not the next.
Imply that you can't get rid of these people any other way and that's why we asked me in no uncertain terms.
Are you going to be able to make these changes or do we have to make changes in the statute including.
The idea that somebody could.
Absolutely the proof is clear and this individual won't retire and in fact when we called him to testify.
We the taxpayers pay for him to come from San Francisco because he's still a current employees.
I can't nowadays -- the Ritz Carlton -- here in DC -- -- well I hope that the TSA found SSI raid since it.
The following is so perhaps it appalling that so -- you mean you -- and -- -- You know.
This is something you know every member of my committee at least on my side of the -- -- a volunteer every member of my committee chose to be on our committee as the committee that oversees waste fraud and abuse and -- you held me accountable few days ago.
When you said why didn't you know yeah look at what a big part a big part -- why didn't we didn't know is because he IG didn't inform us in the current statute.
Doesn't require him -- for a -- inform us but historically we have been informed it was -- -- Good Stinson denied it and -- okay maybe a story doesn't have to tell you.
But what -- BC he's in charge of things C inspector general what do you does he think his job is to -- it.
The amazing thing is the chief of staff.
Robertson informed a lawyer at the White House in May of last year.
So the problem was he informed staff who inform the White House who said they did quick action but very clearly they -- -- year pass and it wasn't until the eve.
Of this becoming public that they Begin taking action.
What are some more quote quote got quick action I have here April 13 when he 123 letters.
This quick action that so what three days ago from.
The acting commissioner and one -- to Robert -- saint.
That day he -- so 1960.
Dollars for a party held in his room at the M resort.
And the men led the bad -- the commissioner says it's unconscionable that the taxpayer should bear his -- personal party.
Here's one that Jeffrey Nellie that does -- three days ago at this quick -- mile to three in the -- quick action was three days ago CEOs 2007 iron seventy dollars and nine cents for a party he had the cameras -- here's another one to mr.
Robert sack 122 dollars for personal expenses at these resort.
It took until three days ago to figure this -- up.
Well more importantly this is a fraction.
You know the the buying of gifts and giving him to people this this so called bicycle thing where they -- these bicycles and then proceeded to have a catered event to give them to the poor as though they were being given by the individuals rather than you the taxpayers.
But -- tea mr.
peck and others haven't seen the last of it he will be before -- and then his issues will be before the subcommittee tomorrow with Jeff Denham.
And I've got to tell you there's a lot more that has three likes to -- we simply had only so much time and this is only the first of what will be many hearings are you going to make a call to the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation.
We expect the -- referral to be acted on I will tell -- Arizona referrals are inmate to -- -- -- has started and made the IG will follow up on it so what we we expect to have criminal indictments the IG -- done a very good job of making a case for a number of items that go far beyond these repayments.
But let's remember the important thing is change these individuals if we're very lucky in a relatively short period of time will be dismissed.
But under the current law they'll be dismissed with thirty years' worth the retirement don't go on to something else the question is how do we change this -- 24 agencies I wrote 23 additional letters to other agencies.
Asking that they give us a breakdown -- just say -- their conferences because this is one of many area.
Hey get what Boise did change it changes their handcuffs goes on somebody's there we have the perp walk and you see someone who is it -- And when it when he had to -- -- -- have an obligation not to steal taxpayers' money and you know when it's so blatant when you're doing things that are just so over the top eight -- 20000 dollars for apart and we didn't get -- the fact that they had the one for the -- -- -- palm some -- Resort for that matter fight people -- fly out for five days for -- one minute or five minute ribbon cutting but enjoying their family vacation in Hawaii.
You're one of the things -- and I'll tell -- we have to be careful in congress.
We were threatened them.
need -- attorney that he was going to try to use the DC bar's ethics rules against our -- -- were members of the bar.
Before -- bringing somebody who asserted they were gonna take the fifth.
I made a decision -- lawyer.
And -- I think but you know he made it very clear that that was part of it now we went through the -- -- but I'll tell -- in the DC bar.
Have to ask a question if somebody simply threatens to take the fifth -- -- is just simply ignore that and are now.